A few days ago AstraZeneca stated their first intranasal influenza vaccine live (FluMist Quadrivalent) doses shipping in the USA, to prepare for the flu season 2020-2021.
AstraZeneca Influenza Vaccine
AstraZeneca plc is an Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company registered in the UK. It is the tenth largest company in the world in terms of sales of prescription drugs as of 2014. The company is ranked 281 in the Fortune Global 500 for 2011.
AstraZeneca’s product portfolio includes drugs from diseases such as cardiology, pulmonology, oncology, neurology, gastroenterology, psychiatry, and infectious. The company was formed in 1999 through the merger of the Swedish Astra AB and the British Zeneca Group (formed as a result of the separation of the pharmaceutical business from Imperial Chemical Industries in 1993). The company has performed a large number of mergers and acquisitions of other companies such as Cambridge Antibody Technology (in 2006), MedImmune (in 2007) and Spirogen (in 2013).
The amount of vaccine produced against the virus has increased by a quarter of the usual volume. The company says it will become available to the United States in August.
To date the FluMist Quadrivalent vaccine is the only one nasal spray inoculation for the flu, that allowed to be used by people 2 – 49 years old.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued statements encouraging the importance of flu vaccination rates for the 2020-21 season as a part of efforts to help reduce burden on the healthcare system and ensure resources are available should there be a resurgence or continuation at present levels of COVID-19 during that time,” – AstraZeneca reported.
The United States government actively encourages vaccination of the population, as this passive method will greatly ease the burden on the health care system. Because of COVID-19 pandemic, with starts at 2019 and still going, this step would be necessary to localize and minimize number of patients.
Side Effects Must Be Considered
The side effect and recommendations of FluMist Quadrivalent using is:
- It is not recommended doing a vaccination if you have severe allergy to eggs or to any inactive ingredient in the vaccine; have ever had a life-threatening reaction to influenza vaccine; or are 2 through 17 years old and take aspirin or medicines containing aspirin – children or adolescents should not be given aspirin for 4 weeks after getting FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.
- Children under 2 years old have an increased risk of wheezing (difficulty with breathing) after getting FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT
- If you, or your children have a history of wheezing if under 5 years old; have had Guillain-Barré syndrome; have a weakened immune system or live with someone who has a severely weakened immune system; have problems with your heart, kidneys, or lungs; have diabetes; are pregnant or nursing; or are taking a medication used to treat influenza like Tamiflu®*, Relenza®*, amantadine, or rimantadine.
- The most common side effects are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fever over 100°F.
The vaccine has already been used in Britain and Public Health England (PHE) has published results. In children 2 to 17 years old, adjusted VE with LAIV was 45.4% (95% CI: 12.6%, 65.9%) against all circulating strains.
“AstraZeneca has a long-standing commitment to putting the needs of patients first and protecting public health – and this year it is critical given the current pandemic,” stated Mina Makar, senior vice president of US Respiratory and Immunology at AstraZeneca.